What is this? It's the worst game ever made, that's what it is!
That's quite a claim, that's what it is. But I will back it up. As there is nothing, NOTHING quality about this game. It wasn't made by game players, it wasn't made for game players, and it certainly wasn't bought buy gamers! Yet, with the Who Wants to be a Millionaire PC game (note, also not bought by gamers), Myst is the single best selling CD Rom game in history.
So here's a perplexing question. If the game is so bad, then how could it sell so many copies? Simple: good (albeit still) images that showed graphics unthinkable with the floppy discs so many people were used to. Of course, it was also the first CD Rom game for the Computer that showed off the new technology (note that it certainly plays like a demo for technology, rather than a real game). So what we have were Doctors, Lawyers, and everybody else who needed a CD Rom (which, until Myst was mostly for indexes and encyclopedia's) for work buying this game to impress their friends ... but there was no love from gamers.
It quickly got a reputation as a good selling game, and so when the CD Media started to catch on, some game players unwittingly received copies as presents. The marketing geniuses behind the game repriced the PC and Mac versions making it a must have for anybody who didn't know any better. The problem was that these numbers were frivolous, game players weren't buying into this genre of games, and non game players weren't really playing it either, it was just a show piece. But it was easy to make these games, and computer companies were ready to embark on short productions, fast pressings, and short shelf life.
The problem ended up being that these games never sold. Tons of them sat in bargain bins, never to be sold. Proving yet again that the genre wasn't really popular, just Myst. And when Myst was finally released on the home consoles, Myst never made much of an impact.
Myst was released on tons of systems, including the Sega CD, PlayStation, Saturn, and the Jaguar CD version (which is the one we are reviewing here). The only problem is that if you add up the sales of all those, you don't even get the sales of average PlayStation games. So could this game be that bad?
Without a doubt, this game is worse than this review can ever make you think it is. I almost wanted to make my own web based version of Myst on the net, since you could do it - still images, non existent interaction, Myst could be easily made for the net, with no extras like Java or CGI or anything. I would have made a version of it on this page, if I wasn't so afraid that when Myst III fails, they will start suing everybody in site. Myst is as much fun as yelling at your television set ... it's about as interactive, as well.
But this sort of game doesn't rely on fancy 3D graphics, or speed, it's in the puzzles, and that's why it's the worst game EVER. If it were a game, they would have given you a chance, but as a marketing scheme, Myst feels like an excuse (or reason) to get the extremely popular "Book" of Myst (which is the best selling hint guide in computer history). The puzzles are similar to this example: you are given 25 light switches, you figure it out.
And when you don't figure it out, or after hours of just guessing, the programmers have the balls to say that "it's because you aren't thinking about it right" ... of course we're not thinking about it right, the question is, why should we be thinking about it at all. Games like Resident Evil, Alone in the Dark, and Onimusha Warlords have shown that you can have well crafted puzzles without coming off pretentious.
If you find this kind of frustration fun, Myst is right up your alley. But if you're looking for a game that is actually programmed well, there are so many great games out there. I cannot think of a game that is worse ... and that is saying something!